Predictions for Day Six of the 2016 Slater Wildcat Classic

Since I didn’t do a recap last night, here is a quick rundown of the scores from last night’s games in Slater.

  • Girls 5th place: Slater 37, Sacred Heart 25
  • Boys 5th place: Jamestown 48, Pilot Grove 38
  • Girls 3rd place: Marshall 75, Pilot Grove 53

All right, so I had one missed pick last night, which puts me at 15-2 entering today’s games. Who ya got today?

No. 4 Santa Fe (B) vs. No. 3 Fayette (1 p.m. tip-off): This could be a close game. Fayette has the more explosive player combinations, but I think Santa Fe has a deeper lineup. For argument’s sake, let’s look at their similar opponents, which are Sweet Springs and Sacred Heart. Both teams beat Sweet Springs (Santa Fe won 69-42, Fayette won 60-42) and both lost to Sacred Heart (Santa Fe lost 48-44, Fayette lost 81-55). Going by that logic, Santa Fe wins this game by nine or 10 points, right? Well, I think Santa Fe wins this game because of its inside presence. Prediction: Santa Fe 63, Fayette 52.

No. 2 Glasgow (G) vs. No. 1 Santa Fe (2:30 p.m. tip-off): Regardless of the outcome of this game, I think we’ll see both of these teams in the state playoffs. But winning this game would be a huge step along the way. Both teams have impressive post players, but I think Santa Fe has the slight edge at the guard position. The Lady Chiefs are going to want to run the floor, I imagine, and that would be bad news for the Lady Jackets. I was told after the Glasgow Tournament that the Glasgow girls wanted me to keep picking against them, because they win when I do. Let’s see if that will work again. Prediction: Santa Fe 62, Glasgow 52.

No. 2 Sacred Heart (B) vs. No. 1 Glasgow (4 p.m. tip-off): Any other year, I could make a bold prediction and say Glasgow will hold Sacred Heart to its lowest point total of the year. The thing is, I think Tolton has already done that, holding the Gremlins to just 33 points back on Jan. 8. Still, I think Glasgow holds Sacred Heart under 50 points today, because I imagine Glasgow will try to slow down this game on both ends of the court. You know, nine years is a long time for a program as esteemed as Glasgow’s to not win this tournament. I think they’ll get it done today. Prediction: Glasgow 45, Sacred Heart 42.

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Predictions for Day Five of the 2016 Slater Wildcat Classic

Now we are to the trophy games portion of the Slater Wildcat Classic, with two consolation games and a third-place game on schedule for tonight.

Since neither Fayette nor Glasgow are playing in Slater, I’ll won’t be attending tonight’s games, which means there won’t be a recap posted later tonight. I’ll just make my predictions and then I’ll be back in the morning with my picks for the three games on Saturday.

No. 6 Sacred Heart (G) vs. No. 5 Slater (5 p.m. tip-off): This should be a pretty good battle. Sacred Heart has looked like a quick, scrappy team all week, but the Lady Gremlins just need the scoring to come around. They scored 24 points on Monday against Glasgow and 29 points on Tuesday against Marshall. Slater, on the other hand, impressed me on Wednesday against Fayette. The Lady Wildcats haven’t scored in the 50s very often this season — just three times, all three coming in wins — but they made more adjustments after a first-round loss to Pilot Grove. Advantage, Slater. Predictions: Slater 43, Sacred Heart 34.

No. 6 Pilot Grove (B) vs. No. 5 Jamestown (6:30 p.m. tip-0ff): I’m not sure what to think of this matchup. Heading into the tournament, I would have said Jamestown wins this game by 10 points. Now, I’m not so sure. Pilot Grove has looked like the better team this week, even though the Tigers are winless in the tournament. We haven’t seen an “upset” yet in this year’s edition of the Slater Wildcat Classic, so now seems like a good time to pick one, right? Prediction: Pilot Grove 61, Jamestown 55.

No. 4 Pilot Grove (G) vs. No. 3 Marshall (8 p.m. tip-off): The seeds have played out perfectly in the girls bracket, and I don’t see that changing tonight. Marshall has a young team that showed a lot of promise on Wednesday night against Glasgow. Taylor Crawford is going to be a force over the next couple of years and her all-around game is going to be tough for opponents to stop. It’s impressive to see that some of these kids are only underclassmen. Marshall should win this game pretty handily. Prediction: Marshall 59, Pilot Grove 36.

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Recap of Day Four at the 2016 Slater Wildcat Classic

Before I get into tonight’s recaps, I just wanted to say that you all helped break a single-day record for most views on my blog. With less than an hour to go, HoCoSportsBlog had nearly 500 views, shattering the previous record. Thank you for stopping by today.

All right, on to tonight’s games, and another 3-0 night for my predictions, making me 13-1 this week.

Jamestown (B) 36, Slater 31: I didn’t get to see this, but I listened to the fourth quarter on the radio. It sounded like the fouls piled up but neither team shot well from the free-throw line. Slater trailed by eight points, then cut Jamestown’s lead to three points in the final 2:30. I believe the halftime score was 13-13, which is one of the lowest halftime scores I’ve ever heard of for a boys basketball game. Jamestown will advance to Friday’s consolation final and face former CCAA rival, Pilot Grove.

Glasgow (B) 49, Santa Fe 45: It wasn’t Glasgow’s greatest game by any means, but at this stage, a win is a win. After a sluggish first quarter, Glasgow (16-1) dominated the second quarter to lead 25-18 at halftime. With Kennedy Davis on the bench with three fouls just one minute into the second quarter, Adam Monnig took control of Glasgow’s scoring. The 6′-4″ junior had 10 points by halftime and 15 by the end of the game, including three huge free throws in the final 20 seconds. After watching Glasgow play the past three games, it’s clear to me that Monnig is who they’ll get the ball to when it’s time for their opponents to foul late in games. Bryant Hubbard also had 12 points before fouling out and Kabyl McMillan also reached double figures with 11 points, knocking down all three Glasgow 3-pointers. Santa Fe tied the score at 33-33 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, then Glasgow went on a 9-3 run. That wasn’t the end though. Santa Fe tied the game again at 42-42 with 58 seconds to play. Davis banked in a shot with 37 seconds to play and then the Chiefs committed a turnover with 19 seconds on the clock. For the first time since 2008, Glasgow will play in the championship game of the Slater Wildcat Classic. Just to show how tough it is to get this far in this tournament, the Yellowjackets have reached the Class 1 state semifinals three times since then. Yeah, this tournament is that tough.

Sacred Heart (B) 81, Fayette 55: Fayette played better than it had in its previous three games, which were all wins. And despite the final score, Fayette was in this game until the opening minutes of the fourth quarter. Sacred Heart just dominated the fourth however, and Fayette committed six turnovers in the first two minutes of the period. Suddenly it was 71-51 and then Sacred Heart’s bench outscored Fayette’s bench 10-4 the rest of the way. Trent Lyles didn’t do the damage for Sacred Heart tonight. Sure, he had 13 points, but that only made him the fourth-leading scorer for the Gremlins. Micah Tanguay had a game-high 23 points to go with 10 rebounds, Colby Young had 18 points and 11 rebounds and Alden Harding had 14 points. Fayette had three players score in double figures, led by Robby Robinson with 15 points. Blake Dawson — who scored 38 points a few days ago against Pilot Grove — added 11 points and Tommy Phillips chipped in 10 points.

Now we are on to the trophy games. Here is the schedule for the rest of the Slater Wildcat Classic:

Friday’s games

  • Girls consolation: No. 6 Sacred Heart vs. No. 5 Slater, 5 p.m.
  • Boys consolation: No. 6 Pilot Grove vs. No. 5 Jamestown, 6:30 p.m.
  • Girls third place: No. 4 Pilot Grove vs. No. 3 Marshall, 8 p.m.

Saturday’s games

  • Boys third place: No. 4 Santa Fe vs. No. 3 Fayette, 1 p.m.
  • Girls championship: No. 2 Glasgow vs. No. 1 Santa Fe, 2:30 p.m.
  • Boys championship: No. 2 Sacred Heart vs. No. 1 Glasgow, 4 p.m.
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Predictions for Day Four of the 2016 Slater Wildcat Classic

It’s the last night before the trophy games begin at Slater, and all three games tonight are in the boys bracket. As always, the games will be broadcast on KMMO and will be livestreamed on the radio station’s website at

Before I get to my picks, I just want to note how loaded tonight’s games at the Keytesville Tournament are. Two boys and two girls semifinal games are just now underway, and three of the four girls teams playing tonight are state-ranked in Class 1 (Prairie Home is No. 4, Southwest Livingston is No. 5 and Norborne is No. 9). The Higbee girls aren’t state-ranked, but the Lady Tigers have a 12-3 record, so it’s a pretty-loaded 1-4 seeds for a small-school tournament.

Anyhow, back to the Slater Wildcat Classic and my picks for tonight’s games.

No. 7 Slater (B) vs. No. 5 Jamestown (5 p.m. tip-off): Jamestown looked a little sluggish the other night against Santa Fe, but I imagine the Eagles will straighten things out tonight. Although it’s likely that Slater will go two-and-out this week, don’t sleep on the Wildcats in the future. This team is mostly freshmen and sophomores, and with a pretty decent junior high program, Slater had the potential to be a winning program in a few years. Prediction: Jamestown 63, Slater 41.

No. 4 Santa Fe (B) vs. No. 1 Glasgow (6:30 p.m. tip-off): These two teams met in the first round last year and Glasgow won 73-43. That was a pretty talented Santa Fe ballclub too. These two teams always seem to meet in the Slater Wildcat Classic, but it’s been a long time since they’ve met with a championship game appearance on the line. Glasgow has not played for a title in this tournament since I’ve been in Fayette. That all changes this year. Prediction: Glasgow 61, Santa Fe 48.

No. 3 Fayette (B) vs. No. 2 Sacred Heart (8 p.m. tip-off): The Gremlins jumped into the state rankings just in time for tonight’s matchup, listed as the No. 9 team in Class 2 with the releasing of this week’s MBCA/ poll from earlier today. Fayette has won its last three games, the only time this season the Falcons have won three games in a row this season. However, to beat a team like Sacred Heart, Fayette is going to need to reach down tonight and have a performance like it did in its win over New Franklin back in November, or the huge home win over Smithton in December. If Fayette plays the way it did on Tuesday night, however, the Gremlins are going to have a field day. So which Fayette team shows up tonight? Prediction: Sacred Heart 71, Fayette 59.

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Recap of Day Three at the 2016 Slater Wildcat Classic

We were due for a thrilling finish at the Slater Wildcat Classic, and I think it’s fair to say fans got their money’s worth tonight. Let’s take a lot at what happened.

Slater (G) 51, Fayette 35: Earlier today, I said this would be a close game. Instead, this game was more of a step back than a step forward for Fayette. Slater picked apart Fayette’s defense on the weak side frequently in the first half and by the middle of the third quarter, the Lady Falcons had to switch to man-to-man to avoid picking up more fouls on the weak side. Fayette also committed 25 turnovers by my count, while Slater only had 12 turnovers. The one bright side for Fayette was that players had no trouble drawing fouls and were aggressively attacking the basket. Clara Beaman alone went 11-of-16 at the free-throw line and finished with a team-high 13 points. The rest of the team shot just 4-of-12 at the line, adding up to 15-of-28 as a team. The thing is, Fayette had a hard time scoring tonight unless it was at the free-throw line. There was a time when Fayette went 14-plus minutes without a field goal, which is when Slater pulled away. Samantha Conrow added 10 points and Haleigh Strodtman had another double-digit rebounding performance, grabbing 11 boards to go with nine points. That ends Fayette’s week at the tournament, and now the Lady Falcons have to travel to Prairie Home — the No. 2 team in Class 1 — on Monday.

Santa Fe (G) 70, Pilot Grove 38: Santa Fe is rolling right through this tournament. This game had a running clock for most of the fourth quarter. If I remember correctly, I believe Greg Schmidt said Cara Hinz led Santa Fe with 29 points, and that includes nine 3-pointers. Wowza! I don’t think anyone is surprised that Santa Fe will get a chance to defend its tournament title on Saturday. Read below to see which team the Lady Chiefs will face.

Glasgow (G) 52, Marshall 51: Regardless of talent on either program, it’s a big deal when a Class 1 school beats a Class 4 school. These two teams met last year in the third-place game, with Marshall rallying in the second half to beat Glasgow 49-43. We almost saw another fourth-quarter breakdown by the Lady Jackets, who led 42-34 after three quarters. Glasgow led the entire game until the 2:49 mark of the fourth quarter, when Marshall’s Kassidy Heying hit the Lady Owls’ eighth 3-pointer of the game to make the score 49-47 in Marshall’s favor. Glasgow answered on the other end with a lob pass from Tara Fuemmeler to Jaden Monnig for the easy basket to tie the score with 2:16 to play. Marshall committed a turnover while trying to run off a huge chunk of the clock and Glasgow retook the lead on another Fuemmeler-to-Monnig connection with 57 seconds left. Heying hit a shot in the lane to tie the score at 51-51, setting up the down-to-the-wire theatrics. Glasgow called two timeouts as a result of Marshall’s full-court pressure, but the Lady Jackets drew up one last play to get the ball to point guard Anne Reynolds, who drove the lane and was fouled with 6.3 seconds left. Reynolds, who had made just 6-of-18 free throws in Glasgow’s two previous games, missed the first attempt. With the Marshall student section yelling at the top of its lungs, Reynolds got the second shot to fall, giving the Lady Jackets a one-point lead. Marshall had to go the distance of the floor and Emily Tobin had an open look on a drive to the basket, but instead she passed the ball to Taylor Crawford for an 18-foot jumper along the left baseline. The shot was off the mark and Devyn Yung pulled in the rebound as time expired, leaving Glasgow with the one-point win. Glasgow didn’t avert from its usual offensive plan, getting the ball to Monnig via the lob pass as often as possible. By my count, 12 of her team-high 18 points were assisted through lob passes from the perimeter. Glasgow also shot well from 3-point range, taking very few attempts but still hitting four threes. Meanwhile, Marshall knocked down eight triples against Glasgow’s zone defense, which allowed the Lady Owls to make their charge in the fourth quarter. Reynolds finished with nine points, as did Tara Fuemmeler. The rest of the schedule for the girls bracket is as follows:

  • 5th place: No. 6 Sacred Heart vs. No. 5 Slater, 5 p.m. Friday
  • 3rd place: No. 4 Pilot Grove vs. No. 3 Marshall, 8 p.m. Friday
  • 1st place: No. 2 Glasgow vs. No. 1 Santa Fe, 2:30 p.m. Saturday

I’d say the seeds for the tournament played out as expected, wouldn’t you?

On a side note from tonight’s Glasgow-Marshall, I will say that was an impressive display of support by both teams’ student sections, which you won’t see too often in high school girls basketball. The Glasgow boys basketball team occupied the first couple of rows underneath the right side of the basket, while the Marshall students filled the bleachers under the left side of the basket. However, it won’t surprise me if the Marshall school office receives more than a phone call or two tomorrow from Glasgow fans concerning the Owls’ student section. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with the “You can’t do that,” the “You got swatted,” and the “She’s a freshman” chants. In fact, I’d rather hear those chants than see a silent group of kids. But when you’re cursing in unison — and in a rather loud fashion — at practically every close call by the referees that goes against your team, that’s far too extreme for high school basketball. Honestly, even yelling at the top of your lungs as Anne Reynolds shoots her free throws was probably a little too much, but it didn’t seem to bother her tonight. That’s just my two cents, though.

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Predictions for Day Three of the 2016 Slater Wildcat Classic

No time to waste. Time to make today’s picks.

No. 7 Fayette (G) vs. No. 5 Slater (5 p.m. tip-off): Even though they aren’t conference foes anymore, it’s nice to see Fayette and Slater will get the chance to meet this season. I think it’s a given that this will be a low-scoring contest, and if either team scores more than 40 points, I’ll be impressed. I say that because it’s always a defensive grind when these two teams play. Both teams beat Brunswick. Both teams beat Smithton. I can tell you this, if these two teams were to have faced each other on Monday night, I think Fayette would have won. It’s win-or-go-home with this battle. It’ll be a close one… Prediction: Slater 37, Fayette 35.

No. 4 Pilot Grove (G) vs. No. 1 Santa Fe (6:30 p.m. tip-off): This was the championship game matchup of the tournament last year, and Santa Fe slaughtered Pilot Grove, largely because one of Pilot Grove’s best players wasn’t there. It could be a slaughter again tonight. Prediction: Santa Fe 67, Pilot Grove 39.

No. 3 Marshall (G) vs. No. 2 Glasgow (8 p.m. tip-off): I get the impression that after watch Marshall last night, the Lady Owls tend to play to the level of their competition. They played down to Sacred Heart last night and didn’t really pull away to victory until the final few minutes. They’ll have to play up if they want to beat Glasgow tonight. This time, Glasgow has the height advantage, and the Lady Jackets’ guard play rivals that of Marshall. Advantage, Glasgow. Prediction: Glasgow 52, Marshall 44.

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Recap of Day Two at the 2016 Slater Wildcat Classic

Tonight’s games were much closer than I had anticipated. We only had a brief running clock in the opener and the remaining three were weren’t decided until late in the second half. No upsets tonight. Here’s how it all went down.

Glasgow (B) 64, Slater 43: The final score makes this game look closer than it actually was. Had Glasgow left its starters in the whole game, the Yellowjackets would have won by 40 points, just as they had in the previous two meetings. Glasgow nearly had all five starters reach double figures in scoring. Adam Monnig (17), Kabyl McMillan (13) and Kennedy Davis (10) reached the mark. Hayden Hackman and Bryant Hubbard each fell shy by one point. The Yellowjackets didn’t force many turnovers in this game, but they didn’t allow Slater to get many good looks at the basket either. Another dominant win for Glasgow, and don’t forget, these two teams will meet again on Monday, this time in Glasgow.

Fayette (B) 70, Pilot Grove 64: Blake Dawson had strong starts against Brunswick and Atlanta in the scoring department. It was inevitable that one of his hot starts would carry throughout the game. He had nine of Fayette’s 10 points in the first quarter and had 15 points at the half, about three points under his season average. However, the Fayette sophomore took off in the second half. He had a new career-high of 29 points by the end of the third quarter and finished with 38 points, the second-most points scored in a single game at the Slater Wildcat Classic. The thing is, Fayette needed every single one of those points to hold off Pilot Grove. After falling behind 8-0, Fayette would take the lead in the second quarter and never let it go, but a 16-point lead with 5:18 left in the game nearly slipped away. Pilot Grove closed the gap to five points in the final seconds, but Fayette did enough to hold off and secure a spot in either the third-place game or the championship game this week. Robby Robinson had 13 key points, hit a few 3-pointers when they were needed badly. Tommy Phillips also had 10 points. Brady Rentel led Pilot Grove with 20 points. Thursday’s Fayette-Sacred Heart matchup is now essentially a semifinal game, with the winner advancing to the championship game.

Marshall (G) 45, Sacred Heart 29: Marshall led the entire game, if I remember correctly, but the Lady Owls led by single digits most of the game. It wasn’t until the final four minutes that Marshall pulled away. Glasgow and Marshall will play tomorrow, which is also practically a semifinal game (even though it’s pool play…both teams are 1-0 this week). The winner will advance to the championship game. They met last year in the third-place game. Marshall won 49-43.

Santa Fe (B) 54, Jamestown 40: This was a pretty-balanced matchup, as most 4-5 games in this tournament are. Jamestown held a slight edge during the first half, but Santa Fe pulled away in the second half. The Eagles just couldn’t get shots or free throws to fall, and the Chiefs hit some key 3-pointers to stretch their lead to double digits. Ben Hinz led Santa Fe with 22 points. Two players combined to score 90 percent of Jamestown’s points. Trenton Barbour had 20 points and Garrett Wolfe had 16 points.

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